Nicotine: How Much is Too Much?


Nearly all e-cigarettes contain nicotine, and some are in an excessive amount. High levels of it create a stronger addiction and cause the body to overdose on the drug. Overexposure is risky. Nicotine inhalation, ingestion, or absorption through the skin or eyes can also cause overexposure. Ingestion of liquid nicotine is the most common type of nicotine poisoning.

As per reports by the Centers for Disease Control,  50 to 60 milligrams of nicotine is deadly for an adult who weighs around 150 pounds, but some suggest that the lethal amount can be much more. There is also no general standard on how much nicotine you can consume in cigarettes in the United States.

Common sense says, the lesser the intake, the safer you will be. The amount of nicotine a person can consume in a day depends on many factors like weight, health condition, and tolerance levels.  

monkey smoking too many cigarettes

How Much Nicotine is too Much?

The amount of nicotine you consume varies depending on its brand and variety. Additionally, new types of cigarettes have been developed with little or no tobacco to give the same amount of nicotine. For instance, small cigars and some vapes can have as little as 0.5 milligrams of nicotine per cigarette, while pipes contain around 15 milligrams per cigarette. Cigarettes with more than 40 milligrams of nicotine are considered high doses, while some brands might give 72 milligrams per cigarette. There is no concrete answer to how much nicotine is safe and how much is too much. However, there is no clear answer that could be applied to all people. 

Nicotine impacts each individual depending on health, weight, age, and smoking habits. It also has to do with how long it stays in your body.

According to Mayer, the actual lethal dose of nicotine might be 10 times more than the CDCs. For some, vaping is not an issue, refill bottles are problematic. Bigger containers containing concentrated stuff pack is risky for small children, as they can mistakenly think this juicy and flavored container is candy.  

Smoking a single refill of strong 72 milligrams of juice will not kill you. Many people vape in lesser concentrations, but drinking a whole bottle could turn deadly. 

Symptoms of Too Much Nicotine

There are many symptoms to watch if you are worried about an overdose of possible nicotine. The symptoms occur in two stages. More the nicotine is present in a tobacco product, the more addictive it is, and in e-cigarettes and vaping, the risk is more. This is since nearly all or more than 99 % of e-cigarettes contain nicotine, and some brands are found in excessive. High levels of nicotine create strong addiction and cause your body to get overdosed on the drug. 

Symptoms can get a stimulating effect within 15 minutes of overdose 

  • Stomachache and loss of appetite   
  • Nausea or vomiting  
  • Headache
  • Increase in heart rate and blood pressure
  • Mouth-watering
  • Quick and heavy breathing
  • Dizziness or tremors 
  • Confusion and anxiety

Symptoms shift from the first 30 minutes to up to four hours later that include:

  • Diarrhea 
  • Shallow breathing  
  • Slower heartbeat and blood pressure 
  • Extreme fatigue 
  • Weakness, slow reflexes, or unable to control muscles
  • Pale skin

You will have to visit a hospital if your symptoms progress like if you start having respiratory failure, seizures, breathing difficulty, cardiac arrest, or even coma. If symptoms show you are suffering from a pulmonary-related illness linked to vaping, contact your doctor. However, some side effects do not require medical attention, and these, might go away with treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also your professional might tell you the ways to prevent or reduce these side effects.

effects of smoking on the body

How Quickly Does Nicotine Overdose Symptoms Happen?

Before a nicotine overdose, you would likely have to face health risks. Some might seem scary. Vaping for long and in large quantities might increase your chance of a heart attack or a mental health disorder. There are also possible risks of seizures and damage to the lungs. It might also cause future fertility problems.

An overdose can happen when a person consumes much nicotine, which can be either through vaping, smoking, or by other means. Its symptoms vary depending on its severity but can also develop rapidly and might get serious. Symptoms can appear within minutes or hours of nicotine consumption depending on the amount consumed and the sensitivity to nicotine.

It is not that you overdose on nicotine only from smoking cigarettes. Your body can take only one-tenth of the nicotine in a cigarette, around 1 milligram while smoking. Overdosing from nicotine gum or patches is rare, but it is possible if you do not follow instructions carefully. Only little quantity of nicotine can get poisonous for kids and pets. An older child experimenting with chewing tobacco can also get an overdose.

Switching to Vaping from Cigarettes

Most of us like to remain aware of what we are putting into our bodies. If you've made the switch from smoking cigarettes to vaping, it's most likely because you were acutely ware of the thousands of chemicals that smoking cigarettes puts into your body. Maybe now you're wondering if vaping nicotine E-Juices are also putting additives into your system.

E-juices, Vape Juice, E-Liquid... they all are comprised of a certain percentage of Vegetable Glycerol and Polypropylene Glycerol, most commonly 70/30 or 50/50. Most flavorings are gong to contain sweeteners like sucrose. These additives are deemed safe by the FDA and are of course strictly monitored and tested by their manufactures. 

And as I am sure you know, most E-Juices contain nicotine. 0 milligram juices are an option too, and nicotine levels range from .0% to .6% with SaltNic E-Juices ranging from 25% to 50%.

A nicotine overdose is something we all think of and are probably all a little worried about frankly. And a 50 milligram nicotine level can sound insane to most people. With vaping not being as harsh or gross tasting as a traditional cigarette, shouldn't a nicotine overdose be easy?

smoking vs vaping

The answer is actually no, not really. 

Vaping a high MG nicotine liquid can in some cases result in feeling light headed, which is likely to cause fainting if you have a disease like FMD or heart conditions. If you have a condition or a history of strokes/mini strokes, a high MG Nic Salt juice is highly discouraged!

According to the CDC most E-Liquids do not contain enough nicotine to kill an adult who is vaping normally. If you began to vape abnormally, like an insane insane amount of high MG nicotine juice, you would become too unwell to continue vaping the needed amount to kill you.

Ingesting a full 60ml bottle of vape juice that contains nicotine is lethal and why you should keep bottles out of reach from children and pets. And also why you shouldn't stick a straw in your bottle of liquid. Ingesting a small amount of 0MG nicotine is not going to give you any instant adverse effects.

Nicotine levels are not measured by the puff. If your juice contains six milligrams of nicotine, with each hit off your vape you are not inhaling six milligrams of nicotine. 6MG refers to .6 milligrams per milliliter of E-Juice.

A good way to keep track of the amount of nicotine you're consuming is to know the capacity of your tank or cartridge, know how many tanks or cartridges you go through a day, and multiply that by the amount of nicotine is in the bottle.

For example the average tank size tends to be around 5ml.

5ml x 6mg/ml = 30MG of nicotine a day.

The average pod cartridge size is 2ml and people typically use SaltNic juices in these devices, which tend to be around 35MG of nicotine.

2ml x 35mg/ml = 70MG of nicotine a day.

While this number sounds high it is no where near the amount necessary to harm you. It's not an easy task to go through a whole tank or pod in say an hour. So it's unlikely you'll feel sick or light headed spacing our your vaping and going through perhaps a tank a day.

That simple equation is also not entirely scary to think about when you take into consideration that most responsible vaping adults know their limitations and don't push past them. Listen to your body and only vape when you need to. If vaping is making you feel worse, I don't know... maybe stop. Even just for a minute or two. It's simple enough that a child could do it BUT WE DO NOT CONDONE THIS IN ANY WAY!

quitting smoking cigarettes

What is the difference Between Too Much Nicotine and Nicotine Poisoning? 

More the percentage of nicotine in tobacco, the more addictive it can get. It is a reason why the first stick of cigarette can lead to double consumption like four packs and above. With the high quantity of nicotine in e-cigarettes like Juul, users get exposed to high nicotine levels, which is responsible for consumers getting nic-sick.

Nic-sick is not good, but ingesting liquid nicotine is even worse as it is poisonous and can get fatal. Nicotine necessary for poisoning depends on the consumption and the overall physical condition. Recently, nicotine poisoning was rare as cases resulted from nicotine use as accidental ingestion of tobacco, insecticide, or ingestion of nicotine-containing plants.

Today nicotine poisoning is an increasing concern due to new nicotine products available in the markets, like electronic cigarettes and pure liquid nicotine. The nicotine level in liquid products is much higher than other tobacco products. 

Is Nicotine Poisoning Common

Nicotine poisoning can impact people of any age, however, children have a higher risk of nicotine poisoning due to lower body weight and small size. In adults, the likelihood of nicotine poisoning depends on many factors as the way people consume nicotine, the amount of nicotine consumed, and sensitivity to this drug. Ingesting or inhaling this drug through tobacco like cigarettes, e-cigarettes, chewing tobacco, or nicotine replacement therapy products like patches and gums can cause nicotine poisoning, which includes dizziness, vomiting, nausea, seizures, and rapid heartbeat. 

Though nicotine poisoning is not very common, it is important to take it seriously and seek medical attention if you suspect that someone has consumed too much nicotine. The symptoms can be dangerous and even life-threatening, especially in young children or people with pre-existing medical conditions. It is always better to err on the side of caution and seek medical attention if you suspect that someone has consumed too much nicotine.

symptoms of nicotine poisoning

What to Do for Nicotine Poisoning? 

If you see anyone suffering from nicotine poisoning, call emergency help like 911 in the US or take the person to the nearest energy room. Remove the remaining nicotine-containing product from the mouth, and wash the skin with soap and water if it has come in contact with the substance. If a person is not breathing properly and the pulse is weak or erratic, perform CPR on the person if you are trained in the same or get it done. Depending on the severity, medical professionals might provide care like intravenous fluids, oxygen therapy, intravenous fluid, or medications to control seizures or rapid heart rate.

To prevent nicotine poisoning, make sure a person does not consume nicotine-containing products in the future, like tobacco products and e-cigarettes.

How to Prevent Nicotine Overdose? 

The best way is to avoid having nicotine around. If you smoke or use nicotine products, take basic precautions. Prevent smoking, chewing, or inhaling when children are nearby. If you want to keep cigarettes, snuff tubs, or any nicotine gum, keep the same out of kids' reach. Keep your nicotine containers locked. Prefer buying refills that use child-resistant packaging. Always keep the emergency and Poison Control Center’s helpline number in your phone contacts and post the same for emergencies.  

Nicotine poisoning is increasing, generally due to the new types of nicotine getting popular. Liquid nicotine causes more poisoning by tasting, touching, or swallowing liquid nicotine or liquid nicotine-containing products used in e-cigarettes. To reduce nicotine intake or to get rid of it, the most impactful approach is to ban tobacco containing nicotine-containing products. Reach your healthcare provider if you want to quit smoking.


Where is Nicotine Found? 

Nicotine is a chemical found that is generally found in the tobacco plant and products like 

  • Cigarettes  
  • Cigars  
  • Electronic Cigarettes 
  • Nicotine Gum 
  • Chewing Tobacco / Nicotine Pouches 

It can also be found in smaller amounts in other plants of the nightshade family, such as tomatoes, potatoes, and eggplants. However, the amount of nicotine in these plants is generally considered to be too low to have any significant effect on human health. It is also synthesized in the laboratory for use in various products, including smoking cessation aids such as nicotine gum and patches.

Non Nicotine

Tobacco free nicotine and juices that claim to use only Organic/All-Natural ingredients are no exception to this. Anything that contains nicotine should be used only when necessary and in moderation. The best way to vape continuously (if that's your style) is to take deep regular breaths between inhales and remain hydrated. These are also basic rules for just staying alive in general. 

If you're worried about vaping spoiled vapes, don't be (kind of).

Vape juice does go bad, but not as bad as say cheese or fruit. Fruit flavored E-Juices are not more prone to going bad, nor would cheese flavored juices.

A general rule of thumb for the shelf life of a vape juice is two years after its manufacture date, so long as you keep it in a cool place out of direct sunlight, tightly sealed and tucked in. Treat your vape juice right. 

Getting nicotine on your skin will not kill you unless you take a full on bath in it WHICH WE DO NOT CONDONE IN ANY WAY. But nicotine is absorbed through the skin so if you have a mess of juice to clean up use gloves. And if it does come in contact with your skin, rinse it off with some soap and water. 

Like everything, vaping should be done in moderation and with a solid amount of knowledge on everything from your hardware to what juice your vaping with. 

Vape Safely EightVape Family!


  • Posted on by Karina

    Hey @MrPaint that was an oversight by me, sorry I dn’t know how I made that mistake… just a regular case of brain fart I suppose.
    And @Tvape it’s not impossible since nicotine increases adrenaline which can cause your heart rate to elevate and stimulate anxiety. Just listen to your body

  • Posted on by Tvape

    Can too much nicotine lead to anxiety attacks?

  • Posted on by Tvape

    Can too much nicotine lead to anxiety attacks?

  • Posted on by MrPaint

    In the second paragraph of the article it says ‘vegetable glycerin and propylene glycerine’ – it should say propylene glycol instead.

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